Using the power of eye tracking as a positive force

Using the power of eye tracking as a force for good

At Tobii, as the world leader in both eye tracking and assistive technology for communication, we believe we have an obligation to set clear and positive examples for each of these industries and to make clear choices that protect our users and ensure that the solutions we deliver make the world better. We do not believe in the statement “We are just a technology provider.” Instead, we want to do all in our reasonable power to both mandate and encourage the positive usages of our technology.

Data Transparency

We believe it is very important that eye tracking data is handled in a transparent manner that gives end users confidence that their eye tracking data is not stored or transferred without their prior acceptance. This view relates to how we handle these concerns in our own products, and should also guide how our customers, partners and even competitors view this issue.

For this reason, we have developed the Tobii Eye Tracking Data Transparency policy. The policy states that if an application stores eye tracking data, or transfers it to another device or network, the end user needs to be informed that it is happening, told what is being done with the information, and agree to participate.

Additionally, in many cases, application developers have an obligation to present a visual indicator to users when information is being stored or transferred. 

While this may sound like a minor thing, at Tobii we think this is a vital part of earning the trust of eye tracking users.

For more information, visit our transparency website 

The right to have a voice that fits you

Another example of how Tobii works hard to make sure our solutions can serve as a force for good in the world relates to some of our assistive communications products. We are honored that over 100,000 people around the world use Tobii’s solutions to communicate, play, work, and make their voices heard.

However, we are always learning important lessons from our community of teachers, therapists, and users, and always try to take their feedback, opinions, and requests and incorporate them into product development. Over the last several years, and based on requests from our users, we have worked to make sure that our symbol libraries are able to reflect a wide variety of our users, no matter what they look like or where they come from. We are also always working on the variety of voices and audio representations available to our users, and we are constantly trying to make sure that our software interface is as free from bias as possible.

Limiting use within defense sector

Tobii understands that the power of eye tracking technology can be used for a variety of sophisticated applications. Many of them with the power to make the world a better place, but some with the potential to be misused. As a result, at Tobii we have adopted a strict policy for how eye tracking can be sold, and used, within the defense sector.

While it is possible that such a policy may limit Tobii from pursuing some potential business and customers, we feel strongly that having a clear moral compass that ensures Tobii’s technology is used to help, rather than harm, is the right and responsible choice.